Quercus serrata

Common name:   Family: Fagaceae
Author: Murray. Botanical references: 11, 200, 266
Synonyms: Quercus glandulifera (Blume.)
Known Hazards: None known
Range: E. Asia – China, Japan, Korea, Himalayas.
Habitat: Deciduous forests below 100 – 2000 metres266.
Edibility Rating (1-5): 2 Medicinal Rating (1-5): 2
Other Possible Synonyms: From various places across the web, may not be correct. See below.
Q. glanduliferaG Q. glandulifera var. brevipetiolataG Q. urticifolia var. brevipetiolataG
Other Common Names: From various places around the Web, may not be correct. See below.
Konara E,
Epithets: From a Dictionary of Botanical Epithets
serra = toothed; serrata = saw toothed;
Systematics: From a UDSA Plants Database
Order: Fagales. Beech family

Physical Characteristics

A decidious tree growing to 15m. It is hardy to zone 5 and is frost tender. It is in flower from April to May, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by Wind. We rate it 2/5 for edibility and 2/5 for medicinal use.

The plant prefers medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Habitats and Possible Locations

Woodland, Canopy.

Edible Uses

Coffee; Leaves; Seed.

Seed – cooked. Highly nutritious

179. The seed is about15mm long200, it can be dried, ground into a powder and used as a thickening in stews etc or mixed with cereals for making bread. The seed contains bitter tannins, these can be leached out by thoroughly washing the seed in running water though many minerals will also be lost179. Either the whole seed can be used or the seed can be dried and ground it into a powder. It can take several days or even weeks to properly leach whole seeds, one method was to wrap them in a cloth bag and place them in a stream. Leaching the powder is quicker. A simple taste test can tell when the tannin has been leached. The traditional method of preparing the seed was to bury it in boggy ground overwinter. The germinating seed was dug up in the spring when it would have lost most of its astringency. Leaves – cooked. A famine food when all else fails179. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.

Medicinal Uses


Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea, dysentery etc


Other Uses

Repellent; Tannin; Wood.

A mulch of the leaves repels slugs, grubs etc, though fresh leaves should not be used as these can inhibit plant growth

20. Oak galls are excrescences that are sometimes produced in great numbers on the tree and are caused by the activity of the larvae of different insects. The insects live inside these galls, obtaining their nutrient therein. When the insect pupates and leaves, the gall can be used as a rich source of tannin, that can also be used as a dyestuff4. Wood – very hard, strong, red-brown in colour. Used for farm implements etc61, 146.

Cultivation details

Prefers a good deep fertile loam which can be on the stiff side1, 11. Young plants tolerate reasonable levels of side shade200. Tolerates moderate exposure, surviving well but being somewhat stunted200. Prefers warmer summers than are usually experienced in Britain, trees often grow poorly in this country and fail to properly ripen their wood resulting in frost damage overwinter200. Trees are often coppiced in China109. The seed ripens in its first year200. Intolerant of root disturbance, trees should be planted in their permanent positions whilst young11. Hybridizes freely with other members of the genus200. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus200.


Seed – it quickly loses viability if it is allowed to dry out. It can be stored moist and cool overwinter but is best sown as soon as it is ripe in an outdoor seed bed, though it must be protected from mice, squirrels etc. Small quantities of seed can be sown in deep pots in a cold frame. Plants produce a deep taproot and need to be planted out into their permanent positions as soon as possible, in fact seed sown in situ will produce the best trees11. Trees should not be left in a nursery bed for more than 2 growing seasons without being moved or they will transplant very badly.